Palestinian opens private gallery with rare stones collected in Gaza

0


Salah al-Kahlout exhibits a rare stone in his center in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on October 13, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)


Salah al-Kahlout exhibits a rare stone in his center in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on October 13, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Salah al-Kahlout exhibits a rare stone in his center in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on October 13, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Salah al-Kahlout exhibits a rare stone in his center in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on October 13, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Salah al-Kahlout exhibits a rare stone in his center in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on October 13, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Salah al-Kahlout exhibits rare stones at his center in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on October 18, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Salah al-Kahlout exhibits rare stones at his center in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on October 18, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

It’s hard to miss the thousands of rare and precious stones scattered around the home of Salah al-Kahlout, a Palestinian from Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

The 54-year-old opened a gallery in his home earlier this month called the “Palestine Gemstone Exhibition”, in which he exhibits the riches of the land and sea in the coastal enclave.

Some tones are visible on the floor. Others are placed on glass shelves with their names next to them. Rubies, emeralds, corals, antiques and diamonds are among the hundreds of exhibits.

“Currently, I own more than 5,000 rare rocks and precious stones, which I have been collecting for five years,” al-Kahlout, a father of 13, told Xinhua.

“My hobby may seem strange or crazy to others, but to me these rare rocks and stones are what draw people here to enjoy the beauty of history.”

Holding a small rock shaped like a tree, the man said he got the idea in 2000 when he returned from Saudi Arabia, from where he brought a device used for examining gemstones.

At first it was just a hobby and it took a long time for him to decide to open a gallery. Determined to make his dream come true, he would wake up early in the morning and go to the seaside or to the eastern borders to dig rocks and stones.

“I collected dozens of them. Initially, some of them were used to make jewelry for my wife and sisters, but later I decided to keep them so that they would be a memory for me one day. “, did he declare.

“My hobby did not end there. My passion grew stronger as I became more interested in the history of the Gaza Strip and when I realized that the rocks could tell. these stories, ”he said, adding that he could not accomplish his mission alone.

He formed a small team with his friends, who took turns going to the sea to collect stones and gems. Once the stones were found, they would be handed over to al-Kahlout for examination.

The team also hired a large group of local specialists to study precious stones and rocks.

“I was able to collect and buy thousands of gems and rocks inside the Strip. Some were left behind by the empires that controlled this area,” he said.

Al-Kahlout classified and placed the stones in plastic bags, each with its own name.

Recently, Al-Kahlout obtained accreditation from the relevant government agencies in the Strip to collect and display these exhibits.

According to him, as antiquities document historical periods, rocks and stones also document ages, but from a purely geological point of view.

The man plans to participate in Arab and international exhibitions in the coming period to strengthen the Palestinian presence on the ground and acquire more skills and knowledge in this field.

Shortly, Kahlout will begin the necessary procedures to attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the person with the rarest collection of rocks and gemstones.

Nawaf Al-Najjar, 64, from Jabaliya refugee camp, is also passionate about collecting precious stones. He started his hobby 40 years ago while working with an Israeli gold merchant.

“At that time, I learned from the Israeli how to make rings using gems and diamonds,” Al-Najjar, a father of eight, told Xinhua.

He said, “After making sure that the piece I found was a gemstone, I made some women’s jewelry, rings and bracelets, while sometimes I sold them to my friend Salah.

Al-Najjar pointed out as he held a small rock he found on the shore of the Gaza Sea. “This sea is throwing treasures and jewels at us, but we suffer from a lack of capacity to convert these rocks into jewels and sell them.”

Moataz Abed, 28, a resident of Al-Shatea refugee camp in Gaza, is also benefiting from this initiative. He searches for rocks and gems, even though there are days when he cannot find any.

“Although this job is tough, I can earn around US $ 1,000 at a time, which is a lot of money for an unemployed person,” said Abed, looking out to sea.


Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.